ST MATTHEW ACADEMY, Lewisham – Principal, Monica Cross
I wanted to express in writing the thanks I have given you every time you have run a Tsu’Chu Biz course for us at St Matthew Academy.
You are well aware of the nature of the students we have presented you with! They have by and large been those who were becoming disaffected and demonstrating reluctance and disengagement with learning – who despite their ‘sassy’ attitudes and ‘street smart’ talk seriously lacked belief in themselves as successful learners and lacked confidence to tackle situations outside the familiar.
The Tsu’Chu Biz courses have made a spectacular difference to all the young people who have taken part. We have been amazed at what a lasting difference it has made to the self-confidence and attitude of the students who have been through the course. When we talk now to those who went through the courses – they all tell us what an impact it had on them and how much it raised their self-esteem. It is also apparent when we run our termly Enterprise Weeks – that the students who are willing and eager to lead teams and participate most enthusiastically are those who have been through the Tsu’Chu Biz courses.
I can also tell you that two of the students who succeeded on the first course are already operating successfully as entrepreneurs running their own part-time businesses and quietly building up capital – and business experience. They are both students from difficult backgrounds – one who was involved in gang activity – and it is quite marvellous to see how the course and the self-belief it engendered was the springboard for them to change their lives. I am confident that in the future there will be others who will move onto successful business careers sparked by their experiences with your team.
If we could – we would happily put all our students through the Tsu’Chu Biz course! As it is we are doing our best in these difficult financial times to raise sponsorship again so that you can run another course for us.
Thank you and Tony and all your team once again – and long may you continue to deliver such inspiring and life-changing experiences for young people.”
LANGDON PARK SCHOOL, Tower Hamlets – Deputy Head, Mary O’Brien “We really enjoyed attending the Tsu’Chu Biz Cup Final at City Hall and we feel that the experiences that our students gained from the course and subsequent competition were life changing.”
GEORGE GREEN’S SCHOOL, Tower Hamlets – Head of Business Education, Rob Birkett “I can confirm that J and P are all interested in being allocated a volunteer mentor (for their business). All of the students thoroughly enjoyed the recent Tsu’Chu Biz course and their enthusiasm for the subject has been tremendously enhanced. I would like to thank you for providing the students with this opportunity and hope that you would consider George Green's School again if any future opportunities arise.”
WOOTTON UPPER SCHOOL, Bedford - Assistant Headteacher, Iain Stewart
“Dear Susan and Team,
I am writing to you to express immense gratitude to you all for the work you recently did with our students. The experience our Year 12 students recently had on the Tsu’Chu Biz course was, quite simply, the best experience I have seen our students have in an external setting and with external providers in more than 10 years of teaching. It is fair to say that the body of 21 students would unanimously back up this view. The students from the other class who were unable to take part are all disappointed after the positive word of mouth appraisals from their peers.
I thought it spoke volumes about the dedication and focus of the Tsu’Chu Biz mentors that they were able to provide such a unique and positive experience. Each of the mentors knew the students by name very quickly and genuinely seemed to care about their individual progress during the week. The students have all remarked that they felt they were treated in a very adult fashion and, I believe, many responded accordingly. The success of the programme is as much to do with personal progress as it is to do with academic progress. The transferable skills developed with mentors were superb. It is only sad that more students can’t share the experience.
The mentors were able to develop real relationships which are sometimes difficult at school when teachers and students are constrained by the “treadmill” of many school days. The course has enabled students to complete a piece of A Level coursework but also enabled them to develop confidence and team working skills that should also set them in good stead for other subjects.
The students gained immensely from the social/personal side of the course but also came back with improved academic knowledge that they have utilised in class and in assessed coursework. Their motivation and, as a result, attendance and punctuality have also been noticeably very good. The course seems to have enthused the students about Business and the concept of being entrepreneurial. Many wish to continue their business ideas in the near future.”
HASTINGSBURY BUSINESS AND ENTERPRISE COLLEGE Bedford, Teacher - Dean Phelan “After speaking with the lads they said they really enjoyed the course and it has showed in lessons as their confidence has risen & they are more assured in the business studies work they have produced. They loved the football but found the financial part tough going but once they worked through it in the business plan it all made sense. I found the course brilliant & have recommended it to the head of business and the head teacher that if the opportunity to come on the course arises again we're to jump at the chance because as I said, the boys and I got so much out of it.”